Sudan: the Impact of the Suspension of the UNHCR Resettlement Programme on Refugees

November 17, 2018

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) resettlement programme in Sudan has been suspended leaving applicants in limbo following the fraud scandal investigation which started in May 2018.  The UNHCR office has not yet resumed its resettlement services to the needy refugees. It has been closed since May 2018 due to the fraudulent practices of the office which was exposed by IRIN journalist. Refugees alleged that the UNHCR staff upon receiving bribes have tried to reverse decisions made based on standard eligibility.

This has resulted in the delays of the resettlement process of applicants to third countries. Following the corruption report to which some of the applicants provided information, the informants feel that their security is at risky because they warned by the UNHCR for reporting the alleged corruption crimes. Particularly some refugees are in limbo because the suspension came a few days before their scheduled flights. As the result they have been subjected to a tremendous anxieties and worries sudan-causes-and-effects-of-the-temporary-suspension-of-unhcr-resettlement-program/.

It is to be noted a journalist from IRIN in April this year Refugees in Sudan allege chronic corruption in UN resettlement process conducted an investigative research on the UNHCR resettlement programme by interviewing refugees in Sudan. In her report, she revealed that staff from the UNHCR office are involved in widespread corruptions jeopardizing the resettlement process. Following the report, investigation into the corruption allegation was initiated by the UNHCR, Geneva office.

Nowadays, following the opening of the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia and the free movement of people between the two countries, there is a rise in the number of Eritreans who migrate to Sudan via Ethiopia. If the UNHCR does not correct its malpractices in the shortest time possible and start its activities in a way that takes into consideration the increase of refugees, there is a concern that there is a possibility that a  humanitarian crisis could unfold.

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